Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dear Madonna, If I Didn't Care, Would I Bother Writing?

Well, truthfully, yes. I would.  The blog has been light on content lately and I'll take any inspiration I can find.

I realize that David Furnish and (presumably), Elton John are a bit miffed over your Golden Globes win for Best Original Song...and that's delicious in it's own way. I loved the reaction shots of Elton in the audience who was clearly thinking "Your little career fits into a tiny corner of my career and I don't have to pretend I give a rat's ass about you and I was born with this accent, you poseur twit, you!"

But that's neither here nor there and could just be chalked up to professional jealousy.

I'm also getting a kick out of the YOUR digs that Lady Gaga is totally derivative of YOU. And, yes... I'll cop to the fact that when I first heard Born This Way, I thought it sounded more than a bit like you. But then again, when I first saw YOU all those years ago, I thought YOU were Cindi Lauper with a makeover. I don't really have a dog in this fight either, but if Gaga's derivativeness is so egregious, there are courts for that kinda thing. Maybe The Chiffons' lawyer is still practicing.

This is also not the reason we're having this little chat. Sure, I'll admit it; if I'm in the car...alone...I don't automatically change radio stations just because some of your stuff comes on, but I feel pretty much the same way about Gaga.  But I can't imagine paying money to listen to either of you.  Sorry.  I'm probably not either of your intended audiences anyway.

I don't even particularly care about how weird your arms look.  It's no skin off my nose who you emulate.  Even if I do think you could choose a more universally beloved archetype than Jane Fonda. (I don't have any particularly strong feelings about her either way but you have to admit she comes with a bit of baggage.)

No, I'd like to chat with you a bit about your little acceptance speech. (I'm sorry Madge...you'll have to skip to about 1:30 into this clip to get to the part that's about YOU.)

I've discussed this theme before, but I'm just curious, Madge.  Did you meet any of the other people involved in making W.E.?  By definition, acceptance speeches are usually filled to brimming with use of the First PersonI want to thank the writers and the make-up artists.  I want to thank the HFPA and God.  I want to thank the the amazing, talented, irreplaceable Location Manager without whom I would not be standing here today. (Hey, I can dream.)

What I can't remember is ever hearing an acceptance speech so filled with First Person Possessives.   You started off basically O.K. You thanked "MY co-writers", (presumably that couple behind you that looked like bodyguards), "MY co-producer", and "MY manager". I'm not sure how else you'd phrase those, so you get a pass.

Then, you went on to mention (in order):
"MY movie"
"MY record"
"MY beautiful leading lady" (will she ever be allowed to work for anyone else?)
"MY film"
"MY film"

Frankly, this is a tad Madonna-centric.  It's a bit off-putting to those of us who are not Madonna. It's vicariously a bit dismissive to the hundreds of other people who left their fingerprints all over YOUR film.  I hesitate to chastise you, Madonna, but it's a bit rude.

I know directors have a reputation for being a little "me, me, me" all the time, but it's really more the exception to the rule.  In my experience, the word MY is more often heard in the context of "Oh, damn. I think I left MY script with all MY notes in MY hotel room.  Any chance we could send someone back to get it?"  And while we're on the subject of just whose movie it is, yes, it's become common for the opening titles to call a movie "X" director's film.  But when the Academy Awards come out (you know...the real ones),  and they're giving out the Best Picture award, AMPAS considers it the producer's movie.

And while we're on that subject,  you sounded like you had won for Best Picture...not for Best Friggin' Original Song!  It's a stupid fucking category.  We're not talking about the music that accompanies the film and contributes to how an audience reacts from moment to moment. We're talking about the damn song that usually plays over the credits.  While most of the audience is leaving.  The song that rarely has anything to do with the movie whatsoever!  The song that rarely, if ever, even makes a nod toward the period in which the movie takes place.  The song that qualifies as successful and relevant if the least it does is to NOT jar the audience out of the moment.  Let's have a little perspective here, shall we?

One last thing, Madonna. I feel fairly safe stating that there were millions and millions of people watching who had the same first reaction as me:  "Madonna made a movie?  Who knew?"

Far be it from me to try to remake your image, but I'd like to suggest some reading material.

1 comment:

Steve Buchheit said...

For some reason I'm replaying the Friends episode where he says to a soap opera magazine that he sometimes writes his own lines.